Workshop Report: Uneasy Allies: Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, 1940–1949

By Alberto Najarro and Zach Fredman

Duke Kunshan University welcomed historians from around the globe to our campus from July 12 to 13 for conference entitled “Uneasy Allies: Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, 1940–1949.” Sponsored by the Humanities Research Center, this conference explored the wide-ranging encounters between Chinese and Americans in China during this crucial decade. Zach Fredman, assistant professor of history at DKU, co-organized the event with Judd Kinzley, associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Continue reading “Workshop Report: Uneasy Allies: Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, 1940–1949”

2019-2020 Call for Funding Proposals

The DKU Humanities Research Center (HRC) invites proposals from all DKU/Duke faculty and affiliates working on humanities-related projects. Projects should be based at DKU and/or connect Duke and DKU faculty. Proposals should be sent to Chi Zhang (chi.zhang323@dukekunshan.edu.cn), administrative assistant for the Humanities Research Center, by the specified deadlines. Continue reading “2019-2020 Call for Funding Proposals”

Uneasy Allies: Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, 1940–1949

The largest sustained engagement between Americans and Chinese that ever occurred in China took place during the 1940s. During this period, individual American and Chinese soldiers, scientists, nurses, and truck drivers, among many others, came together to collaborate in the fight against Japan. These interactions had a resonating impact: shaping popular perceptions of China and the United States, impacting the development of new and powerful institutions, and creating new markets and demands that would transform both countries and indeed much of East Asia. Yet, we know surprisingly little about these important grassroots interactions between Americans and Chinese. This conference, Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, is an attempt to shine a direct light on the interactions between Americans and Chinese at all levels of the socio-economic spectrum in the 1940s. Focusing on grassroots perspectives rather than elite politics enables us to explore a wide range of Sino-American encounters during this period, from interaction between ordinary American servicemen and Chinese civilians to the trans-Pacific material exchange of American industrial goods for Chinese raw materials. Other themes include transnational disease control, intelligence and scientific collaboration, educational exchange, and the subjective experience of war. In addition to discussing current research, we plan to outline a framework for further study on the 1940s. Continue reading “Uneasy Allies: Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, 1940–1949”